Woody fencerows next to crop fields or pastures provide many of the same benefits as windbreaks. They can reduce soil erosion, conserve moisture, and provide food and cover for wildlife.
Natural woody fencerows can be encouraged by not mowing next to the fence or by not spraying with a brush herbicide and allowing beneficial native shrubs, such as American plum, gray dogwood, and blackberry, to grow.
When protected from overgrazing and mowing, fencerows can develop into natural travel corridors for wildlife. To further encourage native shrubs, spray cool-season grasses in the fencerow with a herbicide in late fall after shrubs are dormant or in early spring before buds open.